A Hand-Fed Printing Press Douglas Wilson of Springfield, Mo., lets us listen to the sound of his 1949 Number Four VanderCook Proof Printing Press. The hand-feeding process makes for some rockin' rollers.
NPR logo

A Hand-Fed Printing Press

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6594276/6594277" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
A Hand-Fed Printing Press

A Hand-Fed Printing Press

A Hand-Fed Printing Press

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6594276/6594277" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A 1949 Number Four VanderCook Proof Printing Press. hide caption

toggle caption

A 1949 Number Four VanderCook Proof Printing Press.

Douglas Wilson of Springfield, Mo., lets us listen to the sound of his 1949 Number Four VanderCook Proof Printing Press. The hand-feeding process makes for some rockin' rollers.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

A well worn printing press is music to the ears of the man who sent in our SoundClip for today. This is our series of sounds from around the country, which people encounter in their daily lives.

Mr. DOUGLAS WILSON: My name is Douglas Wilson and I live in of Springfield, Missouri. And the sound I want to share is a 1949 Number Four VanderCook Proof Printing Press.

(Soundbite of printing press)

Mr. WILSON: It is a, basically, a letter press printing machine that makes an impression of a letter onto paper, and it's how all printing used to be done from the 1400s until about the 1950s.

(Soundbite of printing press)

Mr. WILSON: It's a giant rolling cylinder that has a hand crank on one side, and you insert the paper onto the top of the cylinder, and basically you crank it along this metal bed that's flat. And sitting on the metal bed is the type, either wood type or metal type, the individual letters that are going to be impressed and inked onto the paper.

(Soundbite of printing press)

Mr. WILSON: But there's something about physically having to pick up each metal piece of type and each letter block, and it takes so much time, whereas on the computer, it's so fast. But there's something just true and mechanical about it, and that's what I love about the sound.

(Soundbite of printing press)

BLOCK: Listener Douglas Wilson of Springfield, Missouri, went to NPR.org and searched for SoundClips. There, he found out how to tell us about his 1949 Number Four VanderCook Proof Printing Press.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.